Showing posts tagged as "otter"
You certainly had some funny things to say about this photo. Thanks to Jennifer Morgan Krejcha for the great caption!
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Meet Abby the Otter!
On June 12 a new sea otter named Abby went on exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The 44-pound, five-year-old female otter was rescued as a newborn on July 21, 2007 by the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Rescue Center and was hand-raised at SeaWorld San Diego, with guidance from our staff. There, she became a popular exhibit otter.
Abby was transferred to the Aquarium June 11, where she spent time acclimating behind the scenes. You can see her on exhibit now or on our live web cam!
Our young female otter, Kit, was transferred to SeaWorld at the same time we received Abby. Why the switch? We’re hopeful that five-year-old Abby will develop into a surrogate for the many pups we rescue and return to the wild as part of our Sea Otter Research and Conservation program. “She’s the right age, and has already displayed maternal behavior,” says Christine DeAngelo, the Aquarium’s associate curator of marine mammals. Having another surrogate on board is particularly important following the death of our veteran sea otter mom, Toola, from old age in March.
What’s Abby like? Reports from SeaWorld indicate that she’s patient with aquarists and very trainable. She likes to play with artificial kelp, take ice baths and eat frozen treats. She also grew attached to towels as a young pup. She likes being touched on the head, chest and back, and even waits at the door before feeding sessions!
We look forward to having her on exhibit, and we hope you get a chance to see her.
We just added a Valentine’s card depicting the new sea otter pup!
Boy oh Boy! A Sea Otter Pup on Exhibit!
This fuzzy Valentine will certainly steal your heart. Say hello to a young male pup that joined our sea otter exhibit on February 14. At eight weeks old, he’s the youngest pup to date to join the exhibit. His hefty size – 15 pounds – is the result of a very healthy appetite since he came into our care at two weeks of age and weighing barely six pounds.
He was rescued on January 5 in Cayucos (San Luis Obispo County) by staff with the Marine Mammal Center. That same day, they transferred care of the pup into the capable hands of our Sea Otter Research and Conservation program as pup 572, which means he’s the 572nd sea otter to be admitted.
During the pup’s first exam we found a small laceration on his right shoulder, which suggests his mother was bitten by a white shark while this pup was on her chest. If that’s true, he’s the seventh stranded pup to come to us under similar circumstances in the past two years.
Now the pup is under the tutelage of Joy, who will teach him what a young otter needs to know. Joy’s our most experienced surrogate mother, with a brag book of 15 pups (572 is her 16th) – more than any other otter in our program.
Joy has cared for two other pups on exhibit. In 2010 she mentored pup 502 before that pup was transferred to her permanent home at Georgia Aquarium. In 2011 Joy raised pup 540 before she moved to her new home at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Washington.
Joy’s also the only available adult female to raise this pup, as her fellow surrogates and companion animals are busy behind the scenes with their own charges. We’ve received permission from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to prepare 572 for life in the public eye. He’s the fourth pup we’ll raise on exhibit, and the third who will eventually find a new home at another aquarium as an ambassador for wild sea otters.
For now he’ll keep his number and will eventually get a name from his new caretakers. Sea otters are intelligent animals that can understand and respond to many words and commands. Using a name helps greatly with training exercises, and it would confuse and frustrate pup 572 if we gave him one name and his new home another.
Be sure to come see him when you visit or watch him on our live Otter Cam. We’ll also post updates and images on our Facebook page. As in the past, we may move him behind the scenes with little notice if that’s in his best interests, so be sure to check if you’re planning a special trip.